Back by popular demand!
Last year, the ACC ran a women’s only traverse of the classic 6-Pass Route south of Jasper. According to participants and staff, the program was a success! This year, we asked the same amazing guides back to lead a women’s only traverse of the Drummond Icefield. This traverse is a great continutation of the women’s program for people who have taken our Women’s Ski Camp or last year’s 6-pass traverse. This trip provides relatively mellow terrain appropriate for heavier packs, and has a true wilderness feel.
The traverse will start at Mosquito Creek, traverse the Drummond Icefield, and finish at Lake Louise. A side trip to the Bonnet Icefield might be possible (conditions and group permitting). While it’s relatively close to popular areas (Lake Louise, Skoki Lodge, and the Icefields Parkway), very few people venture into this part of Banff National Park. You’ll cross Molar Pass, drop down to the Pipestone River, and then work your way up a ramp to the Drummond Glacier. The views from the high points on this traverse are spectacular. After the Drummond Glacier, you drop between Mount Drummond and Pipestone Mountain down to the Red Deer River. To finish, you’ll make your way back into (relative) civilization. The final portion of the traverse takes you into the Skoki area: possibly stopping at the historic Skoki Lodge for high tea and a much-needed chance to relax and recharge, you’ll climb up and over Deception Pass on the well-travelled Skoki Lodge trail, and make your way out via the Lake Louise ski-out.
The 5-day traverse is a great introduction to winter camping for people who have taken one of our hut-based programs on the Wapta, and want to expand their skills. Our experienced guides and camp manager will be modelling glacier travel, winter camping, and navigation practices. They’re always happy to answer questions and help women develop their skills. We have the same great guiding staff coming back from the 6-pass traverse last year. If you liked the 6-pass traverse, consider coming back to explore a new area!
Explore new terrain
Each day will start with a delicious and hearty breakfast to give you the energy to pack up, shoulder your pack and get on with the day’s objective. Depending on the group, there may be opportunities for some ski mountaineering. Your guides and camp managers will be in charge of the day-to-day itinerary (with input from you). Group travel and safety are paramount, with guides having the final say.
Each evening will be spent outside in a dug out kitchen enjoying great food, telling tall tales wrapped in your down jackets and recuperating for the next day’s adventures. Filling a hot water bottle before slipping into your tent and sleeping bag will guarantee a good night’s rest.
And did we mention this is a women’s only traverse? That means lots of laughs, support, and empowerment along the way!
Slider pictures by Ron Frank, Nicole Larson, Etienne Legresley, Lawrence White and Lynn Martel
- Day 1: Meet the guides and group at Lake Louise. The camp staff will do a gear check, and participants will arrange carpooling to the traverse start at Mosquito Creek.
- Day 2-4: Cross Molar Pass, traverse the Drummond Glacier, descend to the Red Deer River
- Day 5: Ski out via Deception Pass, with a possible stop at Skoki Lodge for tea
Camp itinerary may change due to uncontrollable factors. All days will be filled with learning and skiing objectives based on weather, conditions, and participants.
Gear, Food, Lodging
- Two professional ACMG guides plus a camp manager throughout the camp
- Meals starting with breakfast on Day 1, ending with lunch on Day 5
- Parks Canada Wilderness Passes
- Group gear (tents, stoves, fuel, cooking supplies)
Participants must provide:
- Transportation to the Mosquito Creek hostel to meet (start point of traverse); participants and staff will arrange a carpool shuttle to Lake Louise (end point of traverse)
- Accommodation the evening before the camp starts
- Personal gear (see equipment list in Info Pack)
- National Parks vehicle Gate Pass (only free until the end of 2017!)
Level of Difficulty
This camp is designed for women with at least moderate backcountry skiing experience. You must have a good level of fitness and be comfortable skiing the equivalent of blue/intermediate and black/advanced runs at downhill ski areas. Additionally, you must be able to ski while carrying a 22 – 27kg (50-60lb) pack for several hours. Participants will be expected to share in carrying group gear/food and their own lunch while on the camp. Previous winter camping skills will be handy, but not essential, as the guide and manager will coach and teach. If you have never camped in the winter but would like to learn how, this might be the camp for you.
More Women's Program camps - Presented by Marmot
Designed for and offered exclusively to women, our Women’s Program camps allow participants to feel totally comfortable, be themselves and pursue skills and adventure in a supportive, nurturing environment. These camps are staffed and guided exclusively by women as well.
Women’s Program Adventures
- Women’s Ski Camp (Mar 6-11, 2017). A unique opportunity for participants to build on their winter skills in an all-woman setting. For those with some backcountry skiing experience. 6 days, $1,550.
- Women’s Climbing Camp – A week-long summer climbing camp that moves each year between the Columbia Icefields and the Bugaboos. Details soon. 5 days, $1,295.